Ureaplasma is a bacteria belonging to the class of Mycoplasma. The most common bacterias found in sexually active women are Ureaplasma parvum and Ureaplasma urealyticum. Ureaplasma correlates with Mycoplasma species where they lack a cell wall thus they bind to the host cell surface. Urea is the only source of energy for ureaplasma. Ureaplasma can colonize in both the female and male urogenital system such as at vulvovaginal mucosal surface, cervix, urethra, endometrium, seminal fluid, spermatozoa surface and also during pregnancy in amniotic fluid and placenta. The transmission rate varies from 18-88% from mother to fetus which occurs during labor or in utero. The infection can lead to preterm labor due to the activation of the immune system and causes the increase of cytokines, prostaglandin, uterine contractions, cervix dilatation and preterm premature rupture of membrane (PPROM).
Some studies show that ureaplasma can cause urinary tract infection, symptomatic vaginitis, preterm birth, funisitis, mother with chorioamnionitis, neonatal morbidity and even postpartum endometritis. Whereas there are some studies that show that it is not related to preterm birth and complications during pregnancy.
There are certain important findings involving the bacteria and pregnancy. This includes amniotic fluid leakage and is associated with placental inflammation and newborn respiratory distress syndrome. Surprisingly an abundance of leukocytes in vaginal discharge does not correlate to the concept of premature leakage of amniotic fluid, chorioamnionitis and /or newborn respiratory distress syndrome.
Some women will have high levels of Ureaplasma bacteria which probably reflect the presence of infection in the uterus. Comparably, Ureaplasma parvum is more threatening during pregnancy than Ureaplasma urealyticum. Ureaplasma can combine with bacterial vaginosis or vice versa. Then, this bacterial vaginosis is associated with the complication of pregnancy and labor.
Dear pregnant or symptomatic ladies, to reduce the risk of unexplained preterm labor, childbirth complications, and premature prelabor rupture of membranes, do a screening for STD urine test which are available in our clinic.